The divorce case went to trial. The court entered a 50/50 parenting time schedule. The parents would have equal parenting time of their child. They would have a joint custody arrangement. The child was then 4 years old.

Wife appealed. Both parties had been willing to be a joint custodial parent. However, each wanted to be named the residential parent. Each wanted to be named the primary person the child lived with. That would mean the other parent’s time would be ‘visitation’.

Wife appealed. She argued she should have more than 50% of the time with the child. She argued she should be the primary person the child lived with.

The Appellate Court agreed with the Trial Court.

The parties showed an extraordinary level of cooperation. That is required for a joint parenting arrangement. Both parents were heavily involved in the child’s life. Both parties wished to maintain that level of involvement.

The court found it was in child’s best interest to fashion a custody order to maximize the involvement of both parties. The Appellate Court also said that the Trial Court had the discretion not to name either of them as the residential parent. Usually one parent is named the primary person. Even for the purpose of which house mail related to the child is delivered to. Or, for where the child is to go to school.

In this case, the parties live in close proximity to one another. They share joint legal custody and equal parenting time. They cooperate in pursuing the best interests of the child. It is not necessary to name a primary residential parent.

In re Marriage of Perez, 2015 IL App (3d) 140876

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